Best ad blocker?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jent, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. jent macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #1
    I use Safari and for the last couple of years I've used PithHelmet as my ad blocker. It's great, but it doesn't get updated often, and it's the only piece of software that requires me to hold back on Safari updates for more than a few days. I'm still unsure if it works fully with Safari 5.0.3, and the developer doesn't have an actively updated blog or Twitter page.

    What Safari ad blocker do you recommend, and why? Thanks!
     
  2. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #2
    Try GlimmerBlocker. It is a web filter proxy. It runs in a sandbox and is 64 bit. It's benefit is that it does not affect the stability of the web browser and works with all browsers. It acts like a firewall for JavaScript hosted from ad servers.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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  4. jent thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #4
    I should also add that some niceties that have prevented me from leaving PithHelmet up until now are custom rules with wildcards, so that "*.test.com" blocks any subdomain on test.com, and the ability to right-click an ad and choose "Block ad," automatically creating a new rule for that ad and automatically guessing a rule with the appropriate wildcard to block similar ads from the same website/company in the future. It didn't allow me to custom-block Flash ads, though, which was annoying.
     
  5. munkery, Dec 24, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010

    munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #5
    I use Plugin Customs to deal with Flash. You have to add the button to configure it's setting via "Customize Toolbar."

    SafariAdblock extension may work for you. I do not use it but other people find it useful.

    These are both from https://extensions.apple.com/. You may find other alternatives on that webpage.

    I believe that GlimmerBlocker supports the "*.test.com" format but it does not include right-click functionality. Rules can be created in the GlimmerBlocker pane (under System Preferences) via the "Suspect" tab. Click "Create filter rule" and a window will pop up to help you create rules. It is really easy. Externally hosted filter subscriptions can be updated by clicking the services icon just below the list of filter subscriptions.
     
  6. Middling macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #6
    I blocked them at the DNS level on my Mac. See this post for details.

    I'm switching back to a tomato-based router soon, so i'll be blocking them at the DNS level network-wide but i think i'll give GlimmerBlocker a whirl too.
     
  7. djshack macrumors regular

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    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    #7
    I second this. I was using GlimmerBlocker, but I'm at my parents' house for a few weeks with a slow (1.5 Mbps) internet connection. I seem to have more browser timeout messages with GB enabled than without. Perhaps the proxy causes a delay?

    I've also been finding Chrome with AdBlock Plus to be amazingly fast.

    Whatever you do, do NOT use AdBlock for Safari (the Safari 5 extension). It has awful performance problems.
     
  8. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #8
    I use Adblock with out issues so far, What have you noticed?
     
  9. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #9
    GlimmerBlocker is a localhost proxy so it should not impose a speed reduction. Often localhost web proxies are used to speed up a connection with low bandwidth.
     
  10. djshack macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    #10
    I noticed lots of beach balling and freezing up when loading web pages in Safari. Then I found this review on MacUpdate:

    I verified everything in the review as true. With GlimmerBlocker and/or Safari AdBlocker (SIMBL plugin) the slowness does not occur--only with the AdBlock plugin.

    Also, if you do a Google search, you will find a few other comments/reviews with the same conclusion.

    I'm hoping the eventual release of AdBlock Plus for Safari (stated to be worked on since ABP took over Chrome's AdThwart) will be the first *decent* native plugin ad blocker for Safari.
     
  11. djshack, Jan 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011

    djshack macrumors regular

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    Somerville, MA
    #11
    Well, I'm trying Safari AdBlock again right now (at version 2.2.20) and it does seem a bit better than when I last tried it. I still get some very slight delays when loading certain sites (scrolling locks up), but not the beach balling it used to cause. I'll use it for a bit and see how it holds up.

    EDIT: Nevermind. I just loaded TechCrunch with AdBlock enabled and my CPU (Safari) spiked to over 100% for at least 10 seconds. Without AdBlock enabled and when loading TechCrunch, it peaks at about 49% for less than a second. This is bad, and the SIMBL-based AdBlocker does not cause this.
     
  12. THE dAY macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    SFV California
    #12
    djshack,

    Thanks to your recommendation, I have now deleted Adblock the Safari extension and have installed Adblocker.

    I don't know much about how these blockers work and the Adblock extension seemed fine with me on 10.5.8.
    I then tried the sunspider test you linked to and it was really slow with it on and fast with it off.
    I then tried the sunspider test with Adblocker and it was fast again.

    If you don't mind me asking, how are these two (Adblocker and Adblock) different since they both block all the ads?
     
  13. djshack macrumors regular

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    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    #13
    Aside from internal programming stuff I don't know anything about, the obvious differences are that one (AdBlocker) relies on SIMBL which is technically a hack and some people claim can lead to instability. The other (AdBlock) is a native Safari 5 extension (but is unfortunately resource intensive and slow).

    If you prefer not to use a SIMBL plugin, then GlimmerBlocker really is the best option, but it's harder to customize (i.e., you can't right-click and choose to enable or disable or block an ad).
     
  14. stev3n macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2010
  15. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #15
    SIMBL based plugins usually only create a problem after a Safari update until the plugin is updated as well. So you just have to keep that in mind when you update Safari.

    Usually extension based adblockers cause performance deficits within the browser.

    GlimmerBlocker has no affect on javascript performance according to the sunspider javascript benchmark.
     
  16. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    Oct 13, 2008
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    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #16
    Here is what i'm running and I see no issues so far.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #17
    I do not use it but I find for most users the AdBlock extension is easier to use and causes less intrusive filtering that may bother some users. The downside is that the extension uses more resources than the other options.

    P.S. Make sure to allow ads on websites you frequent often as the ads are a means of keeping the website active. I know you can make website specific exceptions with Glimmer Blocker. I do not know if this can be done with other blockers.
     
  18. djshack macrumors regular

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    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    #18
    This is a big problem with GlimmerBlocker. You can make exceptions but only by whitelisting the SOURCE domain, not the site that is being loaded. For example, if I whitelist "*.macrumors.com" and load macrumors.com, ads from any ad network (or whatever Mac Rumors uses) will still be blocked. The only way this actually works is if that domain hosts the ads itself.

    If you want to whitelist specific sites, you really are better off using either of the AdBlock(er) extensions.
     
  19. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #19
    Thanks, I didn't realize that limitation in Glimmer Blocker. Guess I don't whitelist much? Bad person.

    Also, another benefit/deficit of Glimmer Blocker is that it filters all apps that use port 80. So, it can filter ads out of RSS apps but it can also cause problems with apps if not configured properly, such as iTunes.
     

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